THE JOURNEY OF A FORENSIC SCIENTIST

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1 Basic (Ameture) Edition THE JOURNEY OF A FORENSIC SCIENTIST Simran Minhas

2 INTRODUCTION 1 Have you ever wondered what a Forensic Scientist is? Have you ever even heard of a Forensic Scientist? Have you ever seen CSI or NCIS? I m surprised. Well let me tell you, you re missing out on a great career! HI My name is Simran Minhas and I m here to tell you almost everything about Forensics and a Forensic Scientist! I hope you learn a lot from my project, and enjoy it as well.

3 Chapter 1 FORENSIC SCIENTIST! THE SALARY Starting/First year of experience: $43, 237 Middle/5-9 years: $55,000, Top/20+ years: $91,000 The salary is on a average, depending on what you do the salary may go higher. INFORMATION! Now, I m sure what your thinking right now is What s Forensics? What is a Forensic Scientist? What do they do? Now stop asking yourself those questions and let me explain what a Forensic Scientist is and what it does. On t.v Forensic Science is most often associated with criminal investigation; in the real world Forensic Science also work within the Civil justice system. An example would be hand-writing examinations. Forensics is scientific tests or techniques used in the investigation of crimes. They also gather physical evidence from crime scenes. He or she then analyzes that evidence to help in the investigation of the crime. Forensic scientists are sometimes called crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians. There are also many different fields you can call them to a Forensic Scientist. EDUCATION NEEDED For a Forensic Scientist you would need degrees in some places in science: 1.Microbiology 2. Physics 3. Chemistry 4. Biology 5. Medical technology or Genetics It would be to your advantage if you took classes in both communication and law. A bachelor degree in natural science, forensic science or life sciences such as Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology. *Also depending on what you will like to pursue. 2

4 Where to go to get the Education needed I m not entirely set on where I want to go, what school to go to, and what classes to take. I ve researched different schools like Douglas, UBC, SFU, etc. I ve learned a lot form these websites on what to do and where to go, and I have a small plan pre-plan of what I m going to do. I will start out at Douglas collage and complete the associate of arts degree. This will allow me to transfer to BCIT (BC Institute of Technology) Bachelor of technology (B.Tech) programs. The Four different pathways for BCIT s B.Tech program 1. Forensic Science 2. Computer Crime Studies 3. Crime and Intelligence Analysis 4. Economic Crime Studies At Douglas I would probably spend about 2 or 1 1/2 a year(s), or however long it takes to finish every course or degree needed. After Douglas, I am planning on going to either Simon Fraser University, or the British Columbia Institute of technology. Recently, SFU has opened new labs and classrooms for the field of Forensics. However, after just graduating from SFU with a degree I probably won t get a job right away (or soon) and will be jobless for a while with a degree. BCIT provides an assisting program were you work with a real Forensic Scientist and you are basically their assistant. You learn and observe from what they are doing and how they are doing their job. In my opinion, I really wouldn t want to be just an assistant just standing around and watching, I would like to do the job on my own. Also, at BCIT, Instead of just getting a degree in Forensics; I can finish all my work off and possibly start with a job right away which can be a better choice. So, as you can see it s not that easy going to school for Forensics here or possibly even getting a job. I will try my best and work my hardest to do whatever it takes. 3

5 Medical Science Medical Forensic science is an area that involves medical procedures; such as autopsy s. examining the body after death, analysis of blood samples from the victim or suspect, as well as dentistry, psychiatry, and psychology. Pathology is the main part of a medical Forensic scientist. Pathology deals with the diagnose of disease. A large part for medical scientists would be performing autopsies, trying to come to a conclusion about death, and also interpreting injuries. Laboratory Science The Forensic laboratory is where it s said is the essence of Forensic science takes place, with one objective - to conclude all of what is possible from evidence. So, there is the need for multiple departments, staff, and methods of analysis. Forensic laboratories contain almost all aspects of Forensic science in one place, where skilled scientists and specialists who focus on specific areas of Forensic science work together to unravel and solve crimes. They also specialize in areas n chemistry, biology, and physics. Field Studies Field Science are involved in crime scene investigation. Their job consists of collecting possible evidence, preventing the contamination of any evidence taken from the scene, and providing an initial interpretation or theoretical reconstruction of a crime. They help assisting detectives and investigators in various stations with regards to finger-painting evidence, collection of DNA, photographing crime scene s and victims, etc. 4

6 Fields for Forensic Scientist! 1. Forensic Anthropology: the study of the human body and social relationships 2. Forensic Chemistry: the study of the properties of matter, including structure and interactions 3. Forensic Entomology: the study of bugs 4. Forensic Mathematics: finding relationships and patterns in crime scenes and evidence 5. Forensic Nursing: helping victims of sexual assault 6. Forensic Odontology: the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of teeth 7. Forensic Odontology: the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of teeth 8. Forensic Reconstruction: recreating the crime scene 9. Forensic Technology: solving crimes with advanced technology 10. Forensic Toxicology: the study of poisons 11. Latent Print Identification: identifying fingerprints, footprints, palm-prints

7 The Interview 2 For my product I have chosen to do an interview with a Forensic Scientist in the city. After doing a lot of research, I found Mr. David Mckay. Mr. David Mckay is a Forensic Coordinator and General Criminalistics at BCIT. I asked him a few questions about the career and he answered back with some great answers. His answers have also made me think more about this job.

8 Question: Answers: Question #1: Mr. Mckay, you are a program coordinator, Forensic Coordinator and General Criminalistics at BCIT, why did you choose Forensics out of all jobs? What about Forensics is it that you wanted to pursue a successful career in? 1. I had chosen this job because it s been my dream to work in criminology, and working at BCIT is just a dream come true. Question #2: How difficult is it to get a job in Forensics in Vancouver, in the next 5-6 years? Question #3: Do you think BCIT is a better path than others schools? Question #4: What is it like being either in a lab, field, etc working as a Forensic Scientist? Are you working with others or independently? Question #5:How much do you get paid a years salary? Is it easy to live off of? Question #6: What education do you need to become a successful Forensic Scientist? Question 7: Out of the three major fields (laboratory, medical, and field science) which one would you prefer? 2. Actually, it is hard to get a Forensics job in Vancouver, if you would like a lasting job I suggest working in the United States. 3. Our school has great co-ed programs for Forensics. You get a chance to work with a real Forensic Scientist and learn from them. I believe this is a very good program and I don t know many schools that do this. 4. It s quite busy and stressful, you have to be on the top of your game. Sometimes you will have to work with many people at one time and; you have to be able to cooperate with people, be able to work with a small or large group. Also, you have to be very focussed on what you do, if you do something wrong it can effect the entire group and possibly effect the investigation. 5. I don t like to talk about that topic much, but yes it s easy to live off of. 6. It all depends on the field you want to go into, whether it s pathology, laboratory, mathematical, psychological, etc 7. I don t have a favorite, but I m skilled in medical science more than others. 7

9 Proposal 3

10 Section 1 PROPOSAL Process Purpose: What is a Forensic Scientist? And what do they do? A Forensic Scientist is a scientist that specializes in the study of human bones. A forensic scientist can determine everything about one person by doing multiple different tests and some autopsies. I have chosen this topic because this is what I would like to pursue in life. Curricular Goals: 1. Find out more about the job 2. Find a school and job which will lead to a successful life as a Forensic Scientist 3. Present a interview with a Forensic Scientist in the city 4. Find out some tests and autopsies Draft a proposal Present my proposal to my classmates Continue research on my subject Find a Forensic Scientist in the city Set-up an interview by with him/her Create a product by using the interview Create an ibook to present my IDS project Create my presentation Show my artifact/product and presentation Tools 1. Computer 2. Websites about Forensics Scientists 3. IBook Author 4. Interview questions and answers Artifacts of Learning 1. Proposal 2. IBook 3. Presentation 9

11 Resources 1. orensicstudies c_tech.htm 5. Q 6. ml 7. rensic_lab.htm# 8. rensic/forensic%20science%20intro.pdf 10

12 Untitled THE END! This is the end to my IDS project! I hope you enjoyed it and also learned a few things here and there. During my project while researching, I realized something; Forensic science is a great career but it s not right for me. Being able to get a job here isn t very easy, to get a permanent job I would have to move to the states. Also, with this job it will be very hard to have a family. There just wouldn t be enough support/money for an family. So, in my IDS I ve learned a lot and discovered many things. Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed my project and I hope it wasn t too boring! Thanks for listening!:) xi

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